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How to Cook Mini-Cauliflower

by Frank B. Chavez III

Mini-cauliflower is a fast-maturing, small version of cauliflower. All cauliflower is high in nutrients, and eating this highly versatile vegetable may help prevent a wide range of diseases. However, most busy cooks may only be familiar with a few ways of cooking cauliflower, such as boiling or steaming, then drizzling on a gooey cheese sauce. Pursue healthier preparations, such as stir-frying or including mini-cauliflower in a curry or vegetable stew.

Cauliflower Nutrition

Cauliflower is a member of the same family of vegetable as broccoli, cabbage and kale. It is high in several important nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate and dietary fiber. According to the World's Healthiest Foods, eating plenty of cauliflower helps prevent various cancers, aids digestion, helps the body rid itself of toxins and prevents problems associated with inflammation. Choose heads protected by thick green leaves and that have clean, creamy white curds. Avoid heads that contain small flowers or spotted, dull flesh. Nutritional quality and size are not related.

The Basics

Cook mini-cauliflower in the same way as you would the larger variety, including boiling, steaming, deep frying and sauteing. When boiling cauliflower, keep it from losing its pretty color by adding a little milk to the cooking water. However, remember that overcooking vegetables such as cauliflower makes them mushy, ruins their flavor and robs them of nutrients.

Soups, Salads, Appetizers

Cauliflower can be used in hearty soups, stews, appetizers, side dishes and salads. Enjoy cauliflower raw with ranch dip; boiled and drizzled with cheese sauce; or deep-fried in fritters. For a soup or stew course, make cauliflower and walnut soup, vegetable stew with chickpeas, or oyster and cauliflower stew. For a side dish, serve baked cauliflower, rice au gratin with cauliflower, cauliflower drizzled with melted butter, cauliflower with peas or deep-dried cauliflower in place of French fries or onion rings. Include raw cauliflower in green salad; lightly cooked cauliflower instead of the kidney beans in bean salad; or raw broccoli and cauliflower salad with coleslaw dressing.

Main Dishes

Use cauliflower as an ingredient in a wide range of main dishes from different international cuisines. According to Indian cooking expert Tina Chaudhuri, cauliflower is a prized ingredient in winter curries. Make a cauliflower and potato curry, mixed vegetable curry or cauliflower and mashed potato curry. For a more Mediterranean taste, make Italian-style dry roasted cauliflower, cauliflower soup flavored with cinnamon, cream of cauliflower soup or tomatoes stuffed with pureed cauliflower and feta cheese. Introduce Asian flavors to your family with the Indonesian vegetable salad gado-gado or Chinese-style vegetable stir-fry.

References

Resources

  • "The Cafe Brenda Cookbook"; Brenda Langton, Margaret Stuart; 1992
  • "Food for Fifty"; Mary Molt, PhD, R.D; 2001

About the Author

Frank B. Chavez III has been a professional writer since 2006. His articles have appeared on numerous websites including WitchVox and Spectrum Nexus as well as in the e-magazine Gods and Empires. He has his associate degree with an emphasis in theater arts from Chabot College, where he received the theater department's Joeray Madrid Award for Excellence in Dramaturgy.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images